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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Gettysburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Wills House

 
 
The Wills House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 27, 2010
1. The Wills House Marker
Inscription.  Erected ca. 1814, this building is the best known in Gettysburg. In 1863 it was the home of David Wills and family.

Wills, a local attorney, is traditionally given credit as being the father of the Soldier's National Cemetery, for proposing that Pennsylvania provide, "...a common burial ground for the [Union] dead." This idea was supported by all the states whose sons died at Gettysburg and quickly implemented.

President Abraham Lincoln was the overnight guest of David Wills on the eve of the dedication of the Soldier's National Cemetery. It was at the dedication ceremony on November 19, 1863, that Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address.

It is believed that Lincoln polished and rehearsed the brief text of his speech which forever established the concept that our government is "...of the people, by the people, for the people..."
 
Erected by Main Street Gettysburg, Inc., National Park Service / American Battlefield Protection Program.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition,
The Wills House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 27, 2010
2. The Wills House Marker
it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln series list.
 
Location. 39° 49.847′ N, 77° 13.841′ W. Marker is in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is at the intersection of York Street (U.S. 30) and Baltimore Street (Business U.S. 15), on the right when traveling east on York Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Gettysburg PA 17325, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Wills House (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Wills House (a few steps from this marker); Return Visit (a few steps from this marker); Old Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Lincoln Square Building (within shouting distance of this marker); "by the skin of our teeth" (within shouting distance of this marker); The Stoever - Schick Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Company K, First Pennsylvania Reserves (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gettysburg.
 
More about this marker. On the right side of the marker is a photo of The David Wills house, ca. 1885, looking just as it did on November 18-19, 1863, when Abraham Lincoln stayed the night and the dedication procession formed in the front street seen in the foreground.
 
Also see . . .  David Wills House. National Park Service page for the house. The house operates today as a museum and gallery. (Submitted on July 1, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Wills House and State Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain
3. Wills House and State Marker
York Street Entrance image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 27, 2010
4. York Street Entrance
A plaque with the Gettysburg Address displays beside the York Street entrance.
Gettysburg Address Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 27, 2010
5. Gettysburg Address Plaque
<i>The Will's House, Where Lincoln Wrote His Gettysburg Address, Gettysburg, Pa.</i> image. Click for full size.
circa 1885
6. The Will's House, Where Lincoln Wrote His Gettysburg Address, Gettysburg, Pa.
This 1920's-era tinted postcard was based on the photograph shown on the marker.
David Wills Grave at Evergreen Cemetery in Gettysburg image. Click for full size.
By Bradley Owen, June 23, 2012
7. David Wills Grave at Evergreen Cemetery in Gettysburg
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 26, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 1, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 823 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 1, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3. submitted on June 30, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   4, 5. submitted on July 1, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   6. submitted on November 22, 2015.   7. submitted on January 25, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia.
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Feb. 27, 2021